DSWD Bicol leads Katutubo Caravan

By Mike de la Rama

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 27 (PNA) –- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office in Bicol has been conducting a series of Katutubo caravans for indigenous people.

Evelyn Jerusalem, DSWD Bicol information officer, said various activities have been held — including orientation on proper nutrition, good hygiene and importance of maintaining good health through regular medical checkup. Indigenous people-beneficiaries have also been informed on their rights based on the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act or IPRA Law.

The activities also include medical consultations and gift giving.

The Katutubo caravan has gone to tribal communities in Barangay Osmeña, Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte; Tiwi, Albay, and Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon.

DSWD Bicol Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia said the Katutubo caravan aims to provide the indigenous people with the basic social services and other entitlements from the government.

Most of the Katutubo in the Bicol Region are beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), a conditional cash transfer program of the Philippine government which invests in human capital through health and education by providing cash grants to extremely poor households with children aged 0 – 14 years old.

Garcia said that one of the Katutubo in Buhi, Camarines Sur, was hired by the DSWD as municipal link of the 4Ps.

The government agencies that participated and extended their services are: municipal health offices, Philippine Army, and Philhealth for registration.

Free birth registration was done by the office of the local civil registrars while the alternative learning system registration was conducted by the Department of Education. The Philippine Army, on the other hand, distributed used clothing.

The Katutubo Caravan is being jointly sponsored by the DSWD, the local government units and the National Commission for Indigenous People. (PNA)